An analysis of rooftop solar and net metering in Utah has found that over a 20-year period, there is potential for a $400 million benefit from rooftop solar for the state’s biggest utility. The group Utah Clean Energy conducted the analysis to counter false claims by Rocky Mountain Power before the state’s Public Utilities Commission that rooftop solar is costing all its customers money. UCE found that Rocky Mountain Power incorrectly calculated the costs of rooftop solar and conflated lost income with customer costs. While net metering of solar panels on homes and businesses might very well cut into the utility’s revenue – and potentially profits – they still mean reduced costs of at least $ 1.3 million a year for customers. Another fundamental flaw in RMP’s calculations arose from the fact that it looked only at a one-year timeframe rather than accumulated benefits over the long-term. Rocky Mountain Power has proposed a new rate structure that would charge rooftop solar customers 150 percent higher monthly fixed charge, which would stretch the payback period for many solar customers from about 13 years to 30 years and would mean that low and moderate energy users would pay significantly more each month on their electricity bills than they would without solar.
– via Utah Clean Energy